Certain times, magic continues across the boundaries breaking the barriers and they’re regarded as the best masterpieces. Across the ages, we have seen several movies, especially the romantic sagas travelling around various territories and gaining the appreciations. K. Balachandar’s Ek Tuje Ke Liye was one such illustration for it stands out as one of the best classics of all times.
South Indian filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon has always been bounded to the mantra of telling simple romantic stories. What made his films successful were the brilliant performances of actors, technical quotients and his storytelling, though not laced with more twists and turns.
Let’s start off saying; his movies are loosely inspired from various Hollywood classics like Forrest Gump (Vaaranam Aayiram), Kaakha Kaakha (Untouchables, few scenes from Seven), Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu (Bone Collector), Pacchaikili Muthucharam (Derailed) and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (500 Days of Summer).
Well, let’s say it was a magic with the beautiful visuals and onscreen appearance of Silambarasan, who stepped out of commercial mass heroism and Trisha as Jessie. But it was little missing in Telugu version with Naga Chaitanya and Samantha in lead roles. But it was musical score by A.R. Rahman, which made the film more acclaimed.
Now Gautham Menon brimmed with all hopes takes a journey back to Bollywood, whose yesteryear movie Rehana Hai Tere Dil Main (Minnale) was a mediocre. Ek Deewana Tha has a promising performance from Pratheik Babbar and beautiful Amy Jackson, who looks beautiful in traditional costumes, though she lacks the right look of a girl of its region.
Set in backdrops of Mumbai, Ek Deewana Tha is a simple story that revolves around Sachin (Pratheik Babbar), an engineering student aspiring to become a filmmaker. His life is dry as desert until he comes across an angelic oasis Jessie (Amy Jackson) and as you know it’s time to fall in love at first sight. Now what becomes a major hurdle is the societal status as Jessie hails from an orthodox Christian family rom Kerala while Sachin is a middle class Hindu. While Sachin remains unvarying in his love, Jessie is seen discombobulated all the times baffling between her feelings and ambience.
Gautham Menon starts off well with his narrative structure during the first half. But after a certainextent, the story becomes sluggish and audiences start graveling over the hackneyed factors that keep occurring over and again. ‘Don’t test our patience’ – become their need of second hour. Well, it all happens during most of the times that the film’s success and failures varies in different regions.
Pratheik Babbar takes on an impressive show exerting his best performance. Maybe, it’s not a good job to draw comparisons, but again films that have made big time do need such factors when it comes to analyzing the other versions. While Silambarasan strained himself too much for few sequences to bring out the emotions and Naga Chaitanya a dullard in many portions, Pratheik scores brownie points in each and every frame. Yes, he is cool and emotes naturally to every sequence.
Amy Jackson, though unacceptable as a Keralite, it’s okay as Gautham Menon makes sure his heroines look pretty and classy. Her dialogues and lip synch doesn’t go well in few places. But her characterization as in every version becomes the major highlight. If you start hating Jessie for her confusing character, then it’s a big success. Yes, the protagonist says ‘Many girls in Mumbai, Why I fell in love with Jessie?’
With most of the songs reprised from the original version, it lacks the soulful spirit except ‘Hosanna’. Cinematography, again an important asset in Gautham Menon’s movies becomes a major attraction. kudos to MS Prabhu for his picturing style, especially the backwaters of God’s Own Country.
On the whole, Ek Deewana Tha might tick in few boxes for there aren’t any worthy competitors few next few weeks. Few portions of the film are so enjoyable, but it fails to keep the audiences intact throughout the show, especially second half and the climax as in original version might not gratify the audiences of the region, for their very lifestyle is different.
Gautham Menon should have better undergone a crash course in Anthropology of Mumbai before commencing Ek Deewana Tha, which would have helped him make a better performance in his second innings.
What works: Pratheik Babbar, Beautiful looks of Jessie, MS Prabu’s cinematography, Rahman’s background score
What doesn’t work: A dragging screenplay, often repeated conflicts, Climax, Amy as Keralite, very-simple and over familiar plot.
Verdict: Doesn’t connect with audiences in many places
Review by Richard Mahesh
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